Complete Guide to the Employee Recruitment Process

By Indeed Editorial Team

Published 27 September 2021

The Indeed Editorial Team comprises a diverse and talented team of writers, researchers and subject matter experts equipped with Indeed's data and insights to deliver useful tips to help guide your career journey.

If you're a recruiter or hiring manager, it's important to find qualified candidates when you advertise a new job You can find these candidates by following a refined recruitment process, which is designed to draw the best candidates for an open position. Developing a recruiting process with clearly defined steps can help you find high-quality candidates for the job. In this article, we explain what recruitment is, the steps to the recruitment process and tips for recruiting candidates for open positions.

Related: Headhunting: Definition, Differences From Recruiting and Tips

What is the recruitment process?

Recruitment is the process of finding and hiring qualified employees to fill open positions in a company. A recruiter, typically from the human resources department, often manages recruitment. The person or department who oversees recruiting can depend on the size, structure and needs of the company.

Large companies usually have recruiting departments whose primary role is developing job postings and reaching candidates. In smaller companies, department managers may be directly responsible for recruiting their own new people, or the business owner may screen and hire new employees. The recruitment process includes every stage of obtaining new employees, from planning what to include in a job posting to the interview process.

Related: What Does a Recruiter Do?: A Comprehensive Guide

7 steps in recruiting

Following a set of steps can help you manage the hiring process effectively. Every recruiter's process varies, but they use many similar steps to achieve their goal of hiring the most suitable candidate for the job. Here are seven steps you can take when developing your recruitment style:

1. Planning

The planning process involves determining positions to fill and preparing to seek candidates for the roles. The primary aspect of planning is the creation of job descriptions, which you can include on job listings for potential candidates to review. They include job details, required education and work history and preferred skills or qualifications.

Some recruiters also include other details, particularly if they expect many applicants to apply. This allows them to limit the number of responses they receive by encouraging only qualified candidates to apply. Here are some elements recruiters may include in a job description:

  • Job title and rank

  • Company name

  • Company location

  • Working environment

  • Primary duties

  • Working hours

  • Equipment used

  • Qualifications

  • Salary range

  • Application instructions

2. Strategy development

When determining a recruitment strategy, recruiters consider how they plan to market the job. This includes the type of professionals they want to hire and the platforms they want to use to advertise the job. Many employers choose to target geographical areas within the vicinity of their company, but those who hire remote teams may expand their search to include candidates in other regions. Every approach requires recruiters to plan for the use of resources such as time and money, so it's important to consider efficiency when developing a strategy.

Strategy development often takes a significant amount of time, but it has a critical role in ensuring recruiters reach suitable candidates for the positions they want to fill. Recruiters sometimes work with other human resources (HR) team members to create strategies. They collect and analyse data to determine how to manage recruitment effectively, hypothesise potential challenges and plan methods for overcoming them.

3. Searching

During the searching phase of the recruiting process, recruiters decide on platforms to use and begin an active search for qualified candidates. They choose platforms based on their hiring needs and how they think they can reach the applicants they want to hire. For example, if they want to hire senior professionals, they may choose to advertise jobs through professional organisations or career-focused social media sites.

For some positions, recruiters may choose to promote the job offer internally. This means they seek candidates from within the organisation or those who have a connection to the company, such as former employers, past applicants, employees at other office locations or referrals from current employees. They may contact candidates directly to offer them the job or share the job description on the company website, newsletter or email.

4. Screening

Before contacting candidates to schedule interviews, recruiters screen applications to find those that reflect the qualities of the ideal candidate. They typically begin this process by reviewing candidates' CVs and cover letters to determine whether their background and experience match the job description and if the position would allow them to reach their professional goals. Recruiters also look for gaps in employment history and frequent job changes so they can ask the candidate about them if they choose to contact them for an interview.

5. Interviewing and selecting

Once the recruiter has selected candidates to interview, they contact them to schedule a time to meet. Recruiters may interview the candidates themselves, or they may schedule an interview for the candidate with a hiring manager. Interviews may take place by telephone, in person or on a videoconference. After they complete the first round of interviews, recruiters and hiring managers compare the candidates to determine who qualifies for the next round.

This process continues until the hiring manager feels confident selecting a candidate from a small pool, which usually consists of 10 candidates or fewer, depending on the size of the company. Recruiters often assist in the selection process by offering opinions and recommendations. This can help the hiring manager ensure they make the right decision.

Related: How To Be a Good Interviewer in Six Steps (With Helpful Tips)

6. Job offer and onboarding

Once the hiring manager selects a candidate, the recruiter contacts them with a job offer. This often occurs in two steps: a verbal offer and a formal offer. Recruiters make verbal offers by telephone or email, and they give the candidate time to decide whether they would like to accept the position. If the candidate accepts, they provide a formal offer for the candidate to sign outlining the details of the job, such as duties, salary and start date. If the candidate rejects the offer, they contact another candidate.

Once a candidate has accepted the job offer, recruiters begin the process of onboarding them. This involves telling the newly hired employee about company policies and what to expect on their first day of work. The recruiter may also discuss benefits the company offers in addition to salary, such as dental insurance.

Related: What Is Onboarding?

7. Evaluating the process

After recruitment campaigns, recruiters can evaluate their recruitment process to ensure efficiency. They consider factors such as the salary they offered, how much they spent on advertising the job and how long it took them to hire someone for each position. They may also survey the new employee and others involved in the interview and hiring process about their experience and ask if they have suggestions for improvement. Recruiters use this information when developing their next strategy to maintain the elements that work well and implement changes as necessary.

Tips for recruiting candidates

If you're a recruiter, you may seek candidates internally or externally. Internally sourced candidates already have connections with the company, either directly or indirectly. Externally sourced candidates are people who work outside of the company. You may create a strategy to find external candidates in other ways. Here are some tips for places you can find both internal and external candidates:

  • Transferred or promoted employees: This is an internal recruiting source in which you allow qualified and high-performing candidates to change roles. Transferred employees are those who work in another department or at a different site, while promotions usually come from within a single department.

  • Referrals: In this case, you use your existing employees' social networks to find recruits. You might offer a referral program to incentivise your employees to recommend their friends and associates for the position.

  • Previous applicants: You can keep applications on file for candidates and contact them when a position that matches their qualifications becomes available.

  • Advertisements: You can advertise job openings online or in print to reach a wide range of candidates. Print media might include professional publications, newspapers and magazines.

  • Company career site: You can post any open positions on a company career page to convey the company culture and brand and to streamline the application process and easily review resumes.

  • Job portals: Job portals are websites that allow job seekers to find open positions to match their career interests and qualifications. You can reach a wide audience and many portals allow you to pre-screen the applications your hiring department receives.

  • Social networking platforms: You can use a social media platform to reach a large talent pool. This is another way to convey a company's culture and connect with excellent candidates.

  • Placement agencies: Placement agencies often have a pool of candidates to select from and use a variety of tools to reach qualified applicants. They are a great resource for vacancies that might require a lot of effort, time and resources.

  • Job fairs: Job fairs are public events that bring a lot of candidates into one place and they often take place at conventions, professional conferences and universities. Some municipalities and professional organisations host job fairs.

  • Campus placements: You can work with college and university career centres and academic departments to recruit students and alumni who meet your educational requirements.

  • Professional organisations: Many professional organisations maintain databases of qualified professionals, which employers can use for direct recruiting. These databases often include a portfolio, certifications and other qualifications.

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